Ethereum’s world computer is in need of a magic touch.
As developers continue to clash over yet another controversial software update, some of ethereum’s top minds are working together to conjure up a solution for what has been a troubling absence of late — community consensus.
Recent discussions concerning the return of lost funds — and a type of code fix that necessitates an “irregular state change,” or platform-wide software revision — has led to internal conflict, with developers questioning their authority to make contentious changes while appealing to the public for opinions on the matter.
Strung up in the aftermath of the Parity fund freeze, a new developer collective is seeking to better organize such debates to achieve the kind of global consensus they believe the project requires to move forward.
Led by developer Greg Colvin and the Ethereum Foundation’s Jamie Pitts, the Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians hopes to provide a structured working group where ethereum coders can coordinate in line with existing best practices for open-source development.
“We’re talking about, ‘Gee, you know, there’s many, many millions of dollars just stranded out there for no good reason that we technically could fix, and should we?’ And again, we don’t have the forums to come to community consensus on these things,” Colvin told CoinDesk.
Often occurring as a result of faulty code, some developers see the return of lost funds as an obligation, while others feel that such actions could be potentially criminal — a polarization that has led to bitter infighting.
“I think having that level of collegiality among the researchers and developers makes it easier for those conversations to take place and stay civil,” Colvin said.
Worsening the state of the situation is that, in the case of decentralized protocols, any disagreement could lead to competing versions of the software – as occurred following the DAO hack of 2016, which led to the creation of a rivaling cryptocurrency code base called ethereum classic.
“I think the DAO is an example of